Saturday, September 22, 2007

before ももやま, there wasむろまち...

(All the images shown are through the courtesy of Professor Matthew McKelway)

Let’s get acquainted with the important dates first:

Ashikagaあしかが足利 (Muromachiむろまち室町) period: 1393-1573.
Momoyamaももやま桃山 period: 1573-1615.
Tokugawaとくがわ徳川 (Edoえど江戸) period: 1615-1868.

Terms such as Muromachi, Momoyama, and Edo reflect cultural designations, not dynastic ones. Ashikaga あしかが足利is the name of the shogunal family which headed the bakufu ばくふ幕府 (literally “tent government,” the term applied to the shogun’s government) that controlled Japan during the Muromachiむろまち室町 period. During theももやまperiod, Japan was dominated byおだのぶながandとよとみひでよし; ももやま is the name of the sumptuous castle built byひでよしin 1593 on the hill ofふしみ, south ofきょと. The emperor, while technically headed the court during these periods, virtually served the role of a symbolic figure.

Are you still awake? Ok, let’s give you a taste of the monuments from theむろまちperiod, the era that preceded our main subject, theももやまperiod.

The first image is an anonymous painting, Portrait of a Mounted Warrior, traditionally identified as Ashikaga Takauji (Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk. 14th c.); it shows what the firstあしかがshogun might have looked like.

The other picture shows the famous Kinkakujiきんかくじ金閣寺, the “Temple of the Golden Pavilion.” It was first built byあしかがよしみつ in 1397. You will have to wait until next week for more on theきんかくじ, because I am hungry and in desperately need of chocolate.


Asari-chan said...

I think Momoyama "Peach Mountain" has a nice image..



Enkiemonkey said...

I was at that temple back in March!

Rachel said...

those temples are so beautiful. i wish we had architecture like that here in america.

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